Any savvy marketer knows that social media is a powerful tool when it comes engaging prospects, leads and customers, regardless of where they are in the sales funnel. For one, with social media being so tied to mobile nowadays, it offers you a way for you to engage your audience wherever they are. And, on top of that, every platform’s unique approach enables you to choose your own adventure when it comes to content creation.
But social media’s usefulness doesn’t end there. The amount of people participating in social media also ups your chances to see results. If you think about it, when there are 3.196 billion social media users worldwide, it’s a huge miss not to use it as a marketing tool. While these individuals may not all be your followers, you will likely see an improvement if you’re able to capture the attention of even a handful of them.
However, with everybody being on board, and the fast pace of social media, you have to be very strategic in order to grasp the attention of your audience. So what are us marketers supposed to do to compete in the busy and saturated social media market? We’re supposed to stand out, be unique and be proactive in engaging our audience. While there are a variety of ways to do that, today I’m sharing a few tips that have produced great results for us here at Act-On.
1. Post on A Consistent Basis
You can’t see engagement on social media if you don’t show up in the first place. While many of your prospects and leads may be motivated to browse through old content upon first coming across your accounts, chances are that it’s the last time they’ll ever do that. That is why consistency is key when it comes to establishing an engaging social media presence.
While being consistent may be a goal for many of us marketers, it can definitely be a challenge if you’re part of a one-to-two person department. Trust me, I’ve been there and I feel your pain. That is why automating your social media efforts can help you ensure you’re making an appearance on your followers’ feeds on a regular basis without having to stop everything you’re doing to post.
However, even though you want to be consistent, you need to ensure that you’re not annoying your audience. Look at previous analytics to determine how many posts and what cadence work best for your audience so you are always posting at the optimal time. Not only that, looking at previous data can also enable you to determine what type of content is most appealing to your social media followers.
2. Inspire Followers to Stop Scrolling
Part of the recipe of driving engagement is not only to show up on your followers’ feeds, but to also make them stop, read and take action. To do that, you need to create content that is interesting and eye catching. While that may seem like a tremendous challenge, it can actually be as simple as including a fun graphic or image.
For example, research shows that images in your LinkedIn posts will increase engagement by 200% and improve your chances of motivating your followers to comment and take part in the conversation. So, while you may have some very insightful copy to share, adding a fun element to the mix can increase the chances of getting your audience to realize that and engage.
Or you can take the copy out all together and create content that your audience can just sit back and watch. Take our Senior Vice President, Nina Church-Adams’ recent LinkedIn videos for example; Nina shares videos exploring interesting topics related to marketing and business, and has seen incredible engagement.
One of Nina’s latest videos alone garnered over 125 likes, 40 comments and 8,050 views in just a few days. That goes to show you the power of video! The reason it works is because it’s easy to consume, visually appealing (making people stop, watch and listen), and enables followers to literally have a conversation with Nina.
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3. Share Exclusive Content and Insights
Sharing exclusive, never-before-seen content can do wonders to improve your engagement on social media. Why is that? Well, if your audience is already your fan outside of the realm, it provides them extra motivation to tune in and be the first to get the scoop on your latest efforts.
For example, Shop Studio DIY, an ecommerce shop by influencer Kelly Mindell, gets people to engage and follow by making their account private for 24 hours and posting exclusive previews for upcoming releases. This helps this entrepreneur grow her following by creating a sense of anticipation that encourages her followers to check in and engage.
When creating exclusive content, think about how it can be useful to your audience. Stats show that 42% of adults research products online before making a purchase, so aim to create something that will be help them come to a decision. To reference Kelly from Studio DIY again as an example, she uses Instagram stories to not only show you what products are going to be released, but also to highlight some of their special features. Doing so demonstrates the unique value of new releases to her customers, helping them see the value in purchasing.
4. Give your followers just enough to keep them wanting more
If your goal is to motivate your social media followers to read a blog post or perform some other action outside of social media, you should aim to create content that entices them to do so. One of the best ways to do that is to give them a fun snippet with a sneak peek of what’s in store. For example, we use these pull quote images to not only highlight fun facts within our blog post, but also to push out and promote our content on social media. These useful insights give readers just enough to keep them wanting to learn more about a topic and head over to our blog.
Posting a short video summary is also a fun and engaging way to get your followers to click through to your content. Our Content Marketing Strategist, Nathan Isaacs, often uses this tactic to promote our weekly podcasts. They work because they give followers a summary of what they’ll gain from taking a listen, but also because it enables our audience to see our faces and get to know our team.
5. Encourage Followers to Start the Conversation
While you have to be proactive on social media, you don’t always have to be the one to initiate the conversation with your followers. User-generated content is a growing trend in marketing, and the reason why is that it gives customers a voice and encourages them to engage with you before you even jump into the conversation.
And your audience members are more than willing to create their own content. Research shows that 1 in 3 consumers will give a brand a shoutout when posting about a milestone or accomplishment on social media. You can keep the momentum going by commenting on their post, or resharing it on your own channels and tagging them in it so that they can see that you took notice.
Better yet, you can also consolidate and create a community around this user-generated content by creating a dedicated hashtag. This will make it easier for your customers to connect with you and with each other, as well as demonstrate your total impact and reach. Check out this post if you need more tips on how to use user-generated content to improve engagement.